What Makes a Writer Tick?

by JD Lowes

I’ve always been interested in how the sausage was made. 


I was eight when I discovered my father’s .22 rifle. I was not interested so much in firing the gun, but rather, I wanted to know how it fired. I unscrewed all the screws, and removed every spring and by the time I was finished, my dad’s gun was completely dismantled.  I soon learned it was much more difficult to reassemble it.  Soon after, the day came when my dad found his rifle replaced with a motor oil box filled with a bunch of gun parts.  That was the end of my dismantling career!


After a stint in the military, I was rudderless for a time.  I assembled furniture sets for Sears for a while, and even tried my hand as a private detective under the Las Vegas lights. By pure happenstance, I discovered an innate talent for figurative sculpture.  I saw an image in my head and duplicated what I saw out of terracotta clay.  I spent years honing my craft, but monetary success eluded me. In all those years of working alone with laser beam focus, I learned to become self-motivated and goal oriented. 


Sculpting can be a very solitary profession and I discovered the joys of audiobooks.  I listened to hundreds of them while I worked, starting with the classics, gravitating to military history, then mystery novels, finally I happened upon my favorite genre, horror. There’s nothing better than listening to Hieronymus Bosch give the LAPD the business or indulging in guilty pleasure of Stuart Woods or Stephen King.


I said to myself, “I think I could do that.”  I completed my first novel in six months.  I was so proud. Everyone that read my manuscript said it was great and assured me I was on my way to being the next great American novelist… 


This was not to be the case. After one hundred and ten rejection slips, I got a real job and my manuscript sat in its box for twenty years. Deep down, I felt like a failure.  I had been raised to believe you don’t fail unless you quit and my soul died a little more every day seeing my manuscript as a door stop. 


Then electronic self-publishing actually became a legitimate thing. Redemption.  I started writing again, and now am working on my fourth novel.  It’s been difficult marketing my stories and there is definitely room for improvement.  But now I see myself as a novelist, and I’m convinced that everything I’ve done in my life was meant to bring me to this exact place in life.  I love the work and although it’s the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, I was put on this earth to tell stories – I just took a circuitous route. 


The best thing about being a storyteller is, just about the time I get bored with one subject, I get to move on and tell an entirely different tale. I refuse to get too low because of listless sales. I follow Winston Churchill’s sage advice: “When going through hell, keep going!” Bolstered by my wife’s positive encouragement, it’s just a matter of time before people discover my stories.


I still enjoy seeing how the sausage is made.  Except now I’m not so interested in the inner workings but rather how others build their stories. Writing a novel is similar to sculpting. All I do is listen to what the characters say and write down what I see happening.  When I sculpt, I have an image in my head and all I do is guide my hands to create it. 


I love reading how creative people tic. I can’t shut off my mind. I’m always thinking outside the box, storing ideas for future stories.  My day starts at noon.  I light the candle on my desk and I write for six and a half hours, five days a week without exception.


J. D. Lowes is the author of The Seraph’s Son, Volition: An Extra-Terrestrial Incident, and soon to be released, “Sins of the Killer.”  I’d love to hear what you think of my stories.  You can contact me at  You can write a review for my stories at



How did you come to writing? What motivated you to start and what motivates you to continue?

What are some of your favorite books and how have those books affected your writing?

Comments, feedback, or responses

Blue Square wants YOU!

Wnat to write a guest blog?

Want to post a book review?

Have a philosophy to share?

Send your writing here

Read Archived Articles here